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South defeats young Hubs, 35-7
Daniel Moore has painful memories of playing North Hagerstown.
Last year in the regular-season finale, a torn ACL suffered against the Hubs cost Moore a chance to compete for South Hagerstown in the postseason. The injury was so debilitating that it has limited the explosive running back to spot duty this season, mostly at wide receiver.
But Friday in the City Championship game, Moore played a major role in his final high school game as he energized a sluggish Rebels offense in a 35-7 victory at Mike Callas Stadium.
Carrying five times for 88 yards and scoring two touchdowns, Moore showed South (6-4) the way as it beat North for the third straight year.
“Coaches didn’t want to rush me in, but they knew when it was time to put me in,” Moore said. “It felt great.”
This has been a frustrating season for the 5-10, 160-pound senior, who served as a backup wide receiver much of the way to protect him from the hits he would have taken carrying the ball.
“It did my heart a lot of good to see Daniel make the right cuts, get some yards and have a great game,” South coach Toby Peer said. “He has great vision and burst.”
Peer’s son, quarterback T.J. Peer, also closed his career with a stellar game, rushing 18 times for 110 yards and a touchdown and throwing a pair of touchdown passes — short routes that wideouts McCoy Dutrow and Lincoln Ikwubuo turned into long gains of 19 and 44 yards.
“Great to win our last game,” T.J. Peer said. “We just got the ball to our athletes.”
Unfortunately for North (1-9), the Hubs were without their top playmaker. Sophomore quarterback Bennie Barnes spent the game on the sideline, wearing his No. 5 jersey, but not in pads, serving a suspension for an unspecified violation.
“It was a team decision,” coach Greg Stains said.
North was able to muster just 154 yards and eight first downs. Were it not for a late fumble by South and a recovery by North tackle Aaron Horton at the South 39, the Rebels' defense would have pitched a shutout.
Instead, junior Ben Stottlemyer, a wideout all season, scored on a 3-yard quarterback keeper with less than a minute to go.
Stottlemyer was the Hubs’ top rusher, carrying 16 times for 76 yards.
“I’ve been the quarterback since Monday,” Stottlemyer said with a smile. “I’ve been joking around with coach all season to let me play quarterback. I finally got my shot.”
Led by linebackers Jacob Sprecher and Tucker Brugh, the North defense was inspired at the start, forcing three-and-outs on South’s first three possessions. But after South’s first seven rushes netted minus-three yards, Moore entered and changed the game.
His first run accounted for 15 yards and his second went for a 36-yard touchdown. Then in the third quarter, Moore scored on a 19-yard burst that was a work of art as he patently waited for a hole to develop, then burst through it.
“The vision’s always there,” Moore said. “The linemen do their job and you just gotta see it and read it out.”
Once Moore and the other South speedsters got into the depleted North secondary, they had smooth sailing.
“We gave them a little scare,” Stains said of the first quarter. “But we ran out of bodies. We’ve lost three or four defensive backs. Their speed got to us.”
Hubs break skid, crush Frederick, 42-12
FREDERICK — Those needing a refresher course in the positive power of sport could have found it Friday night on a football field in Frederick.
Bennie Barnes threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers, and North Hagerstown erupted for 35 first-half points en route to a 42-12 victory over Frederick.
It was not only the Hubs’ first victory of the season, but their first in quite a while — Nov. 2, 2013, to be exact.
Eighteen games. No more.
The players made sure they relished every bit of it after the game, joyously chanting, yelling and back-patting while running to the team bus.
For second-year coach Greg Stains, it was more than a welcome feeling. After a winless 2014 campaign and an 0-7 start to this season, Stains and his staff can celebrate all that comes with the spoils of victory.
“It feels good to have the monkey off the back,” Stains said. “The kids have been working hard and it’s nice to see them get rewarded.”
The Hubs got off to a hot start, returning a blocked punt for a touchdown to take an 8-0 lead early in the first quarter.
“It got us going in the right direction, and that’s what we needed. And we needed to keep that momentum going," Stains said. "Football is a game of emotion, and that’s where it comes from. When they scoop and score and they get an opportunity to take advantage of it, it’s exciting."
The points seemed to come in droves after that, with the Hubs scoring touchdowns on their last four drives of the half. Barnes found Jackson Clement and Chris Smith for 20- and 24-yard touchdowns; both plays notably came on fourth-and-long situations.
T.J. Harris capped a 12-play drive with a 2-yard TD run with less than two minutes left in the first half, before the Hubs recovered a Cadets fumble at the Hubs’ 34-yard line.
With 1:04 left in the half, North drove the length of the field before Barnes found Scott Neal across the middle for an 8-yard touchdown — again on fourth down — to give the Hubs a 35-0 halftime lead.
“Bennie is playing well,” Stains said. “There were some good calls by Coach (Billy) Jackson. We knew we were going to get 1-on-1 on the backside with the post, and he made some really good throws. He’s come a long way. People don’t even realize, he’s still only 14 years old … and playing high school football."
Coupled with the blocked punt, the Hubs scored all but one of their first-half touchdowns on fourth down.
Barnes added another touchdown pass in the third quarter.
Stains said the key going forward is having his players tap into the emotion from the victory.
“We have to make sure we keep this going in the right direction,” Stains said. “They just needed to feel it. They hadn’t felt it in such a long time. Now, once they feel it, hopefully we can continue it in practice this week and carry it on through the next two weeks.”
Hubs defense is solid, but turnovers take toll
Posted on Sep 25, 2015 by Billy Koontz
WESTMINSTER, Md. — Following his team’s 28-0 loss at Westminster on Friday night, North Hagerstown football coach Greg Stains was not downtrodden, nor was he hanging his head.
Stains knows that as long as his youthful squad continues to fight and show maximum effort, the results will turn around.
“These kids never give up, never give in and they stay energetic,” Stains said. “Things didn’t go our way again tonight, but they know that if we keep working, things will change soon.”
North (0-4) was its own worst enemy on Friday night, committing five turnovers to overshadow a solid performance by the defense.
The Hubs allowed only 215 yards to the Owls, but due to the turnovers, some Westminster possessions started deep in Hubs territory.
In the first quarter, Westminster recovered a North fumble on the Hubs’ 10-yard line. Two plays later, running back Caleb Small scampered into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Unable to move the ball for much of the first half, the Hubs quickly ceded possession again. After a quick drive, Westminster quarterback Christopher Lang found Andrew Raines along the sideline for a 5-yard scoring toss.
Down 14-0, the North defense stymied the Owls’ attack a few times before another turnover doomed it. An interception at midfield was returned to the Hubs' 30, and after a personal foul on North, Westminster took over at 15 with just under two minutes left in the half.
This time around, Lang used his speed as a weapon, streaking to the corner of the end zone to make it 21-0 just before intermission.
“The defense is falling into place and they are making plays,” Stains said. “You just can’t turn the ball over that much. Too many bad things happen when you do that.”
The Hubs' struggles on offense continued into the third quarter, and a fourth score by Westminster put the game out of reach. Lang connected with Raines again, as he found himself wide open for a 22-yard score to make it 28-0.
North began to move the ball toward the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth behind quarterback Chase Metz and running back TJ Harris, who finished with 81 yards rushing.
However, the turnover bug struck again, as a fumble ended the Hubs' most penetrating drive on the Owls' 14 midway through the final stanza.
“I hate to sound like I’m using it as an excuse, but we are so young that the kids are learning as we go,” Stains said. “The bright side to that is they stay upbeat and trust each other, the coaches and our system. They know that this is a process and we are building something here.”
Lang finished with 103 yards and the two touchdowns through the air, while Raines ran for 65 yards and caught four passes for 37 yards for the Owls.
Metz threw for 75 yards for the Hubs, all in the second half.
Another good finish still not enough for Hubs
North Hagerstown football coach Greg Stains has to be scratching his head and trying to figure a way to get his team kick-started in the first half of its games.
For the second straight week, the Hubs had a productive second half. But once again, it was a poor first half that put them in a come-from-behind situation.
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North got itself in position to win its first game of the season, but Century held on to register a 19-13 victory — the Knights' second win in successive weekends in Washington County.
A batch of penalties were enough to keep the Hubs (0-3) from building any kind of momentum in the first half, as officials flagged North for 71 costly yards — some at a key point bridging the first and second quarters that deflated what could have been a 75-yard drive. It ended on a fourth-down interception.
Along with the turnover, the Hubs were guilty of costly holding penalties that negated gains of more than 10 yards three times.
Century (2-1) scored twice in the second quarter, with the first on the heels of the interception early in the period which set up an 87-yard drive. With 4:22 left in the first half, Knights quarterback Adam Lanni hit Jake Lettiere from 20 yards out for the first score.
Another key North penalty negated Noah Hamburg's 37-yard kickoff return that would have pushed the ball inside the Century 30. The Hubs turned it over on an ill-conceived pass attempt, and Century turned it into a touchdown with 14.6 seconds left in the half when Lanni hooked up with Bryce Harrell from the 7 for a 13-0 lead.
“We could have put some drives together in the first half, but the penalties hurt,” said Stains. “We need to tighten things up. The penalties brought us down. Our defense played well.”
But the Hubs reached down and rallied in the third quarter to tie game.
North took the second-half kickoff and went 77 yards on a drive that included runs of 22 and 17 yards by T.J. Harris and ended on an inside reverse. Quarterback Bennie Barnes handed off to Harris, who handed off to Stottlemyer, who dashed to the end zone with 7:06 on the clock.
The Hubs' defense stopped Century at the 21 on downs, and the first North play was a slant pass to Noah Hamburg, who darted a couple different ways sidestepping would-be tacklers to go 79 yards for the score. Madison Foltz tied the game with the extra point.
Century answered on the next drive to claim a 19-13 lead with 11 minutes left in the game. Lanni teamed with Johnny Pearson on a 5-yard score.
North had its chances when Hamburg intercepted a pass with 4:56 left to give the Hubs possession at the Century 43. On a fourth-and-13, Barnes was blitzed and threw an incompletion with 2:07 remaining.
Barnes was 8 of 14 for 232 yards passing as the young sophomore continues to learn.
“He is putting in a lot of study time and learning the system,” said Stains.
Harris had 66 yards rushing, all coming in the second half.
“(Century) was working the edges pretty good, so we need to get someone to the outside,” said Stains.
Century did most of its damage in the air, as Lanni was 15 of 28 for 224 yards. The Knights had 80 yards rushing.
Hubs rally not enough to top Tuscarora
FREDERICK, Md. — After a blowout loss last week at home against South Carroll, the North Hagerstown football team started slow again at Tuscarora.
The young Hubs showed some fight in the second half, but ultimately, a 26-point deficit was too much. Still, the 33-21 final score brings with it a handful of positives for North.
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Bennie Barnes threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns to lead the battle back in the second half. Despite struggling to run the ball all night, the Hubs made a comeback after falling behind by four touchdowns early.
Tuscarora running back John Chaney, who finished with 203 yards on the ground, scored twice in the first half, his second score making it 26-0 midway through the second quarter. Titans quarterback Rodney Dorsey added a touchdown pass to Jaylen Washington and a scoring run of his own during the early onslaught.
Unable to muster much offense running the ball, the Hubs took to the air, and Barnes found Scott Neal for a 5-yard touchdown with 2:33 left in the half to make it 26-7 at intermission.
The momentum seemed about to swing in the Hubs’ favor, only for the Titans to strike quickly in the third. Running back Malik Phillips dove in from 2 yards out to make it 33-7.
The Hubs rallied, though, scoring on a 20-yard pass from Barnes to Ben Stottlemyer with 11 minutes left in the game.
After a lackluster first half, the North defense continued to hold in the third and fourth quarters. With the tide firmly in its favor, that unit stepped up again, forcing a fumble which Dyujay Smith scooped up and returned to the end zone to make it 33-21.
The ensuing onside kickoff, which Madison Foltz executed flawlessly, deflected off a Titans blocker and into Hubs hands. The North drive would stall in excruciating fashion, as Barnes hit Chris Smith for 14 yards on fourth-and-15.
Tuscarora was able to get three first downs, and without any timeouts, the Hubs were at the mercy of the clock. Eventually getting the ball back, North drove into Titans territory in the last minute, but a final turnover on downs ended matters.
Barnes led the Hubs in rushing with 26 yards. Neal finished with eight catches for 79 yards and the touchdown, while Greg Kiser added four grabs for 34 yards. Smith had three catches for 31 yards.
Dorsey added 69 yards rushing for Tuscarora.
South Carroll bolts past Hubs in opener, 40-2
South Carroll’s rushing attack bolted like lightning all up and down the field in the first half Friday night against North Hagerstown, before the actual meteorological phenomenon ended the contest at halftime, with the Cavaliers topping the Hubs 40-2.
In the second quarter, with South Carroll already leading 26-0, running back Jamar Williams broke off a 32-yard touchdown run on the first play of the Cavaliers’ drive, but it was called back for a block in the back penalty. On the very next play, Steven Baca ran 33 yards for his second touchdown, part of a 145-yard night on just nine carries.
Williams — who had two long runs called back by penalties — was tackled in his own end zone with 12 seconds left in the half for a safety and North's only points. But Williams intercepted a last-second pass and took it 61 yards for the closing touchdown.
It was South Carroll’s second pick-six of the game, and came before bad weather moved into the area.
Lightning delayed the game for nearly an hour before officials decided to call it around 9:45 p.m.
Bennie Barnes completed 6 of 13 passes for 42 yards for the Hubs. T.J. Harris had 23 yards rushing, while Jacob Sprecher also had a couple nice runs in the second quarter.
The Hubs’ opening drive took them deep into Cavaliers territory, but they turned it over on downs.
South Carroll quarterback A.J. Linn had a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown, the latter to Silas Kelly. Kelly also had the first interception return for a touchdown late in the first quarter, going for 60 yards.
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